Growing your business in a saturated market can be complex and challenging. Entrepreneurs need to increase their brand visibility and marketing efforts to cut through the chatter and attract new customers. Here, four surefire communication strategies to boost your business.
You’ve probably read that email is dead as a marketing tool. Not true. Don’t you check your inbox 24/7? The tricky part is catching the customer’s attention before they click Delete. Today’s customer is marketing savvy and a one size approach doesn’t fit all. They expect businesses to be genuine in their communications, to understand them and anticipate their needs. That means making it personal.
Address the customer by name but make sure you’ve spelled their name correctly. Mistakes immediately disengage the customer—if you can’t get their name right, how else will you drop the ball? Review your mailing lists frequently to ensure that the person still works at that company and that you aren’t sending the same piece of mail, digital or otherwise, to the same person twice. Leverage your email marketing by integrating it with another communication method such as direct mail. Customers see your message and the name of your business multiple times on different platforms and research shows that response rates increase significantly when an email is associated to another marketing campaign.
Surveys are great tools to help you reach a specific audience and gather the data you need. This information can build your strategy and messaging, improve customer service and impact your bottom line.
A good survey requires strategy, psychology, engaging design and clear writing. Start by defining your objective: what goal do you want to achieve with the information? Your objective will guide the questions to include and how they are framed. The survey should be easy to answer, with questions written clearly and categorized properly.
Traditionally, surveys have been done through phone calls, mail-in questionnaires and in-person interviews. Online and email surveys are the fastest-growing and least-expensive option. Consider your objective, the information you hope to receive and your business’s audience when choosing the method that suits you best.
Advertising is an important component in a communications strategy, and often a costly one. Targeted online advertising can be beneficial for business growth if you have the budget. Most advertising in new media uses second-order proxies to track the online or mobile web activities of consumers and gauge interest through key words that customers use in search engines.
For an inexpensive alternative, attract customers by creating compelling custom content. Potential customers researching a product or service don’t want intrusive old-school ads; they will engage with content that talks about how to do things better. For example, you’re in the heating and air conditioning business. Instead of promoting that your brand is the best in the business, why not post an article on five steps to get your furnace winter-ready? Encourage customers to find you online by creating interesting and valuable content. Publish a think piece or blog post that builds your brand and tells your audience something they didn’t already know. Content that is tailored to them, based on their search terms, eventually builds trust for a longer cycle of engagement.
To make an impact, a social media presence requires strategy, creativity and commitment. It takes more than one tweet, Instagram photo or Facebook post to get attention. Create campaigns and contests on social media to engage your current customers, attract new ones, and get them directly involved in your brand.
Make your customers the focus of your social media campaign. Ask them to post a photo with your product and brand. Invite them to tag your business and post the content under a hashtag. This will categorize the content and make the entire campaign easily searchable. Tie-in an incentive for participants, and reward their creativity. This is an especially good strategy to create buzz around a new product launch, or to boost interest in an old favourite.
Contests are another way to turn heads. It can be simple: post an image of merchandise or a prize pack, and ask customers to re-post it as entry into a raffle. Get creative: organize a scavenger hunt and ask participants to post a photo of their prize on social media. Either way, your brand exposure increases by being featured on the customers’ feeds and in front of their followers.
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